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Joseph Grigely: St. Cecilia


Joseph Grigely: St. Cecilia presents work from the nearly 15-year career of this internationally recognized artist, who is currently living and working in Chicago. The exhibition aims to represent the various media with which he works, including video, sound, sculpture, and works on paper, to examine the poignancy and humor of miscommunication.

Grigely (American, b. 1956) explores the nuances between seeing and hearing in a major new video installation, St. Cecilia, which anchors this exhibition. Named after the patron saint of music, the installation features two single-channel video projections with footage of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society singing three traditional Christmas carols with new lyrics written by Grigely to convey what he calls “lip misreading”—identical lip formations that produce dissimilar sounds. The artist's overarching intent is to make works that create a situation where hearing people experience linguistic misunderstandings from a similar point of view as a deaf person, through points of familiarity such as television shows, Christmas carols, and Post-it notes.

St. Cecilia was co-organized by the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, and the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs. Joseph Grigely's new video installation, St. Cecilia, is coproduced by the Contemporary Museum and the Orange County Museum of Art. The MCA presentation is organized by Julie Rodrigues Widholm, Pamela Alper Associate Curator.


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